Top 5 things you need to know about What’s New in Business Central – April 2021
For more information about the 2021 release wave 1 update, read our recent blog.
Welcome and Introductions
OK, thank you, everyone, for attending today’s Webinar on the top five things about What’s New in Business Central Wave 1. So just before we start the webinar, just a few housekeeping rules.
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So, this is our monthly webinar in key areas of NAV and Business Central. You can sign up for as many as you like on our website. I’ll show you the list of upcoming webinars at the end of the session. Also, send out regular e-mails to register for the next one.
My name is Tiziana, also known as Deetz, and I’ll be facilitating the demo today. I’m an Account Manager here at TVision. I’ve worked here for 2 ½ years, and my background is 18 years in Sales, Marketing and Partner Management.
Ian will be doing the demo today. and he is our Senior Support Consultant at TVision. Ian has been working at TVision for 4 ½ years and has been using NAV and Business Central since 2000.
OK, so many new features of Dynamics Business Central, 2021 Wave 1 April release. We can’t show you every new feature from these areas today, but we will show you those we believe are the most useful and applicable to the majority of companies.
This new release is focused on improving productivity and efficiency, and providing a seamless experience to the end user. It brings improvements to some of the existing features, requests, by customers, including application improvements and integration with the Microsoft stack.
The features related to the new banking features primarily make bank reconciliation easier for the end user. The other features we’ll be covering will be on Dimensions, which is one feature we’ve been waiting for a long time, and we’re very excited about.
So, these are the five top things we’re going to show you today about: Business Central 2021 Wave one updates, Back reconciliation improvements, the improvements about reconciliation is exciting, and allows you to easily see how the automatic application rules have been applied to the bank reconciliation features. Now, you can cancel a bank reconciliation that was posted with error and then run a new bank reconciliation report from the bank statement page.
Secondly, simplified bank statement file import. The second feature is the ability to use different formats from the bank and be able to import your bank statement into your system. With this new capability, users can configure the import of flat file and comma or semicolon separated transaction formats, so that they can more easily import files they have produced or manipulated to fit with the mapping that they have configured.
3:35 Better together with Microsoft Teams within Business Central SaaS. Within Business Central SaaS, you are probably aware of the integration with Microsoft Outlook which saves you jumping from applications and I know the enhanced Excel integration with ‘Export to Excel’ and ‘Edit in Excel’. In this wave release integration with the Office365 suite has been extended even further with Microsoft Teams now being added.
More control over settings for default dimensions. So, now we get into what we would call getting a shiny new bike for Christmas and the key enhancements of this wave release. So, these two final features are about dimensions. Dimensions are a fundamental part of your financial reporting and possibly one of the reasons you chose Business Central. The first-dimension feature ensures that the correct dimensions are recorded against your transactions with a new setup page.
Dimension correction on G/L entries – Users have been asking for a long time to be able to correct dimensions on G/L entries. In the past, you would have done this by creating a manual journal which, for large transactions, is time-consuming and error prone. This new feature simplifies this task which will ensure that the financial reporting gives your company accurate insights without having to make notes of temporary data entry mistakes. For one or more G/L entries, users can change the dimension values, add dimensions, or remove them.
I said, before we do the demo, and I hand over to Ian, and we would like to get an idea of which feature you’re most excited about seeing today.
Let me just launch the poll. OK, so, I’ve just launched the poll, so if you wouldn’t mind submitting your answer, that would be great.
OK, so thank you for that, so, Ian and I had a friendly bet, and I predict that you would vote for the bank reconciliation changes, Ian predicted dimensions would be more popular, it looks like Ian has won, so, hopefully that will help you understand new features in a bit more detail. As always, please ask any questions in the question box now. I’ll hand over to Ian.
Right, thanks Deetz. That’s £10 you owe me. OK, guys you can see I’m in Business Central, this is the latest version, version 18 or 2021 Wave 1.
And there are a few things there that Deetz spoke about. I’m going to start with the most interesting one, work my way up to the exciting one. I’ve got a lot to fit in. So, I’m going to go pretty fast. But if I do go too fast, please drop Deetz a message and she’ll throw something at me to give me to slow down.
So, I’m just copying this web address up here. I’m going to use that in a second Microsoft Teams over here. I’m having a chat with my boss, Nicola. Nicola, she’s new to the company and, she asked me a question. How does she log in to Business Central?
Well, the web address that I copied that, I can just paste it into this message and send that off. And, as you can see, it sends to Nicola not just a web address. It gives her an option to sign in. Gives her a shortcut so that she can install the mobile app on an Android or an Apple device. And, it also gives her the option to install within Teams, The Business Central functionality, I’ve already installed it.
Without this, you can go over here to your apps, you can search for Business Central. When you find it you can say, Install and when it’s installed, you get a new little button down within your Teams.
So, let’s imagine Nicola’s having a chat with me, and she sends the request. What can I tell her about that lady Helen that we spoke to the other day?
I’m not quite sure who she’s talking about, but, if I’ve kept my contacts up to date within Business Central, I can come up to the search. I’d say search in Business Central. Search for what, search for somebody called Helen. And it comes up with Helen Ray.
I can click on Helen, and it gives me some information about Helen. If I really wanted to, I can get more details. I can pop out, which will actually open Business Central on the contact page for Helen.
With all my interactions, all the interactions of the company’s had, e-mails that have been sent, et cetera.
Um, can also be something like Nicola says, oh, who was the customer we were speaking to last month because she wants to get in contact with them.
The woman’s from London, that’s all she has. Again, I can go search up here, or I can do it down here in the conversation box. If I just type it, I’m going to start typing Business Central. It comes up What do I want to search for? I’m going to search for some customer who’s in London and It’s going to look and it’s found four entries, which have London in them somewhat.
Two of them are for a bank, one of them is for our company and one is for an individual. She’s probably asking me about True Research Limited. Again, I can click on that. It’s going to bring up some information.
Oh, that’s Helen, which I can send to Nicola and she can click, get the details pop out, which will open Business Central for her on the interactions page for this client. So that integration that you’ve seen before with Excel, and then we started seeing with Outlook where you can now start searching for people and having chats, It’s now come into Teams.
And this is where Microsoft are pushing for this whole integration and bringing everything together. So, wherever your comfortable working, that’s where you work. You don’t have to jump between applications to get your job done.
That was interesting. Now let’s keep it to something that’s a little bit more exciting, bank reconciliations. Bank reconciliations aren’t exciting but some of the changes are. If we just go and have a look for bank reconciliations on this system.
And it still looks pretty similar to the way it’s looked into previous versions. I have one that I’ve already prepared. Fortunately, it’s a very simple one. It’s just one line. This looks fantastic to me. I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to post this reconciliation: Yes, I’m sure. And now that I’ve posted, it might pick up the reconciliation. I’ve just noticed on the bottom of the sheet of paper there’s bank charges, which I didn’t see, and I didn’t put it into my reconciliation. Oh dear, what am I going to do?
If I’m in NAV or an older version of Business Central, there’s nothing that I can do. It’s just going to have to wait for the next reconciliation for me to fix this. But a nice feature that has been added if I go to my Bank Accounts. And if I go and look at the checking account where I posted the reconciliation, and I can see, I think it’s here in Statement’s section, there’s that statement Number 24 that we just posted.
You’ll notice an Undo button has appeared on the ribbon. I can even go into this statement. This bank reconciliation, look at different sections. Yep, this is the one that I did in error. I can undo this. Yes, I do want to undo this. And it takes me back to the bank recon page where I was just before I posted.
So I’ve still got the opportunity to add a line here for those interest charges. Post them through a journal so that I can do a proper reconciliation before posting.
If you’re eagle eyed, you might have noticed it’s moved from statement number 24 to number 25. That is button up here. And now, of course, I cannot remember where it is. It’s not in matching. Oh, change statement number.
So, if I do really need this to still be statement number 24, I can force it to be statement number 24. It’s now 24 I can make whatever correction I need to make, and I can post the correct statement. In previous versions, that just wasn’t possible. I think this is a really nice addition, which is going to save somebody a lot of heartache and a lot of time fixing sometimes simple mistake.
Another nice feature that’s being added is importing bank statements. So, in the past, if you wanted to import a bank statement, you needed a third party software, you need to add on from TVision to give you an Import Statement button with the correct format, etcetera. Microsoft have tried to make this more self-service.
So, if we go and we search for assisted setup. I’ll go within Assisted Setup. There is a very nice wizard just setting up, bank import, bank statement file, import. And this is a simple wizard that you can step through. You can even download a Central Bank statement. If you just want to test this on Kronos.
If you have a bank statement your bank has given you, you can use it. You just whiz through Next. Do you want it to try and automatically create the file for you or do you want to manually create this mapping? I’m going to say, yeah, try and do this automatically for me. Choose this simple file to upload. I have one right here, and it’s uploaded Next.
Now, I would normally check all these things are correct, but I’m just, I’ve done this before, so I’m going to say, yes, that’s fine, Yep, that’s fine. Yeah, that’s perfect. It didn’t pick up my decimal separator is a dot, so I’ll just correct that. Next. And it is finished. And I’m going to use this for my checking account. Yes, finish.
OK, I’ve now set up a bank import for my checking account, so within here I can say now import my bank statement. Choose the file I wish to import. There it is.
I open that up, and it’s imported my bank statement that I had. This only works for simple bank statements that are very flat files, comma separated, or colon separated if you’ve got a more advanced standard from your bank with edit information, and summary information. You’re still going to need some help getting that set up, but for a simple import, you can now do this yourself.
Microsoft are thinking about their end clients now, which I do appreciate.
Now, finally, we come to what I think is the icing on the cake. I don’t know, Deetz was quite interested when she first heard about this as well. Dimensions.
If I go to my chart of accounts, a typical day in the life of the accounting manager or reporting manager, I’m looking at my chart of accounts interesting here looks hunky dory.
But I do recall things by Dimensions, So I actually want to look at this by Dimension. Let me come up here and do a very quick analysis, Balances by Dimension. Let’s look at it by Department. Yes, show me the Matrix. And here I have my chart of accounts, yep, yep, yep, oh, dear. A thousand pounds has been put against the sales department, it should have been put against the production department.
So, if you’re in NAV, you know what you need to do. You’re going to have to unravel this transaction. If it’s being posted from a sales order or from purchase order, you’re going to have to reverse that out with a credit, recapture it all correctly to get it to come through in production? Or, you’re going to be doing a general journal where you take it out of the account and put it back into the account with the correct dimension on, as you can imagine, if you’ve got hundreds of entries on one of these transactions, that’s a big journal you’ve got to do. It’s not fun.
One of the nice tools that’s been entered is the ability to correct dimensions on transactions. So, I can come in to this one thousand pounds here, Go back to my chart of accounts. There’s a couple of ways that you can do this. So, let me show you the first way.
So, just looking at this one thousand pounds that’s being posted here, this is the transaction. But I know there’s something on the other side that also might need fixing. I can come up. I think it’s on actions, Find Entries, what used to be called Navigate in NAV is now called Find Entries if anybody’s looking for it.
This will find me all the other related entries. I can see that both be coded against sales, they should both be coded against production. So, what I can do here, I can make sure I select everything. And I get an option up at the top. I think it’s under actions. No. I’m going to have to go look for it. Sorry.
Entry, Correct dimensions, this pops up a little window where I get to put in a little bit of a story. What am I doing: I need to change from Sales to Prod. I can say why I’m changing the department from sales, I’m going to change it to Prod if I wanted to, I could add another dimension here. If there was a dimension missing, or I could delete a Dimension if those one to many.
Here it’s showing me which GL entries it’s going to fix. And as soon as I’m happy, I can run. You will notice, update analysis views is not turned on. So, if you use analysis views, you will want to flick that on. Unless it’s some really big, you know, hundreds of lines of thousands of lines. Leave it turned off, and then update your analysis views later when the system is not so busy.
I’m going to run this. I am going to say, OK, run immediately. I don’t want to schedule this for later. Then it has gone, and it has corrected those dimensions. If I go back to my chart of accounts, and if I did another analysis by Dimension, let me do it quickly, balance by dimension. Choose departments? Perfect. I should hopefully see that that has now moved from sales to production.
Really quickly, I can fix dimensions on my transactions. Now we did that from the transaction in the general ledger. If I know, whereabouts this is on the system, there are other ways I can do this. I can go to my GL registers. For instance, GL registers and from within here, I could find the register, which includes this transaction. I happen to know it’s this one because I searched earlier, and there is an option up here. Correct dimensions. It will pop up that same window. This one will pop up every entry within that register. So, if there were 60 or 7000, I would see 60 or 7,000 entries here.
I will be able to make the changes I need to make. Obviously, there were 7000, I would not use that run immediate option, schedule it for a little bit later. So, we can correct Dimensions, which is fantastic. It means my financial reports are going to be accurate. My boss is not going to be shouting at me, which makes my life more pleasant.
But what will make it even more pleasant is if people didn’t make mistakes in the first place. And I don’t have to do the corrections.
So, there’s some new features on capturing the Dimensions with transactions. So anywhere we can capture a default dimension. So, for instance, on a customer card, item card, Job Card, or on a GL account, there are some extra options that didn’t used to be there. So, let’s have a look at this GL account. And if I go to the account dimensions, we can see there are no restrictions on this GL account. Let’s add a restriction for the department.
Now, we can put in a default value, if we want to. I’m not going to put in a default value. And we’ve still got the code mandatory, same code, no code. Remember, if we choose code mandatory, it forces the end user to include a Dimension before posting can happen, I’m going to set code mandatory, but we also now have a filter for what are the allowed values. So, I can now click on that, and I can say, it can be either production or sales. It can never be administration.
I say it OK. So now we’re saying that for this GL Account, on the Department Dimension it is mandatory to include one. These are the only two options that the end user is allowed to choose. So, I can start putting much tighter restrictions on forcing hopefully end users to use the correct dimensions. and don’t forget the other tools that are there for helping with dimensions. They still exist.
So, we have the code mandatory default values, same code restriction, if we want to, and you also have, don’t forget, the dimension combinations where you can say, if it’s the sales department, then the cost centre is actually this, this or this. If it’s the admin department, cost centres will actually be that. If it’s this Sales region, then the Customer Type doesn’t have to be this.
So, you can put on all of those restrictions, which, hopefully helps you get the correct Dimensions in. But if there is a mistake, you can always use the Dimension correction tool.
When you’re in your Corrections, you can even look at the history of Corrections and see what’s being corrected in the past, and you can even undo those corrections in case you made a mistake, correcting a mistake. And you can have another go. So that’s it.
I think that’s an incredibly powerful feature, which should help a lot of people with their reporting. And it’s something that’s been a long time coming on, very glad that it’s yet.
So, that’s the five things I wanted to show you, that Teams integration, the Undoing of a bank reconciliation which is fantastic.
The very quick and easy way to do an import of a statement, if you’ve got a new format, the dimensions, correcting them, and dimensions new tools to try to force correct dimensions. So, while I was busy Deetz, did any questions come through?
OK, thanks Ian and so on, If anybody has any questions from the demo, if you can just submit them now using the question box, We’ll give you a few seconds to do that.
Questions and Answer Session
But, yeah, in the meantime, Ian, we did have some questions that came in. So, first one, if there is a correction in the G L entries will dimensions on the sales document be the original ones?
OK, OK, somebody I think, might have read the documentation. That’s why you’ve asked that question, and it’s a good question, I’m glad you asked.
So, this tool corrects your general ledger entries, doesn’t correct the sub-ledger. So, if the sub-ledger had the wrong dimensions, it came through to the GL this tool, only corrects what’s in the general ledger. It doesn’t go back and correct those source documents. If you need both of them to be in sync for your reporting, then you’re going to have to go the old route of reversing it out and recapturing.
But if you’re happy to make that tradeoff and say, oh, I don’t mind if the customer ledger entries don’t balance by dimension to the general ledger, as long as I can get my financial reports out, I’m happy then this tool is very good for you.
Thank you. Got another one. Has Microsoft made any improvements for setting up new companies, especially, especially in other countries?
There were a couple of announcements on setting up companies. So, if you acquire another subsidiary, or another company, or whatever, one of the things that they’ve done is, now when you create your new company, they’ve got a lot more wizards to help you set up your chart of accounts. To help you bring in your dimensions, etcetera. and guide you through the steps.
You know, it’s going to say, oh, you’re trying to post sales invoices. You need to set up your sales setup. Let me take you to the page and show you what you need to setup. So, they’ve got that kind of helping hand for setting up a company. And there’s something very interesting I read in Germany and Switzerland, so those two countries, they’ve got laws, that says data protection laws, so that information as to stay within the country.
So, Microsoft for those two countries that made it so that the information complies with their internal laws, if it’s a Swiss company, the information is on a computer in Switzerland. It’s not somewhere else in Europe.
And they started to spread that out to other countries as it becomes relevant.
And they also mentioned, Deetz, that they’re making more custom localization to comply with some Asian countries and I think North African countries around the Mediterranean. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So, time for one more. one more, OK, so we’ve got one question here. Will that be more shortcut dimensions?
As I mentioned, Yup, so there are still, you’ve got the limit of your two global dimensions, and then you can have another six shortcuts dimensions after that.
Will this new update, though, on all of the screens, you can now add those shortcut dimensions on the general ledger entries, customer entries, item ledger entries, et cetera, which makes your filtering and ad-hoc reporting a lot easier and quicker. But it is still restricted to the two global and six shortcuts.
But there are all some enhancements to those shortcuts to make them more visible and easier to get to.
And I would encourage you, I think Deetz is going to give you the address just now to go and have a look at the documentation from Microsoft where you can see demonstrations and documentation on every feature that’s being added.
OK, so we have got a few more questions, but we will answer those after the webinar.
Five key takeaways
OK, so a few key takeaways so we’d like to leave you with the key takeaways, which hopefully will help you. Ian showed you some of the new features including bank reconciliation, dimension functionality and integration but for more detailed information, take a look at the list of new and enhanced features on the Microsoft docs’ website.
If you are on the Business Central SaaS version then all of these new features will be available to you with your scheduled update.
If you are on the on-premise Business Central or NAV then you’ll need to upgrade or re-implement in order to receive these features. Are any of these new features enough for you to consider moving to the latest version of Business Central? Again, another reason to move to the latest version is that the latest standard functionality of Business Central could replace some of the existing NAV development for customisations you have. We would also recommend looking back through previous ‘What’s New’ documents for the versions in between the one you have and the latest one. These can also be found on the Microsoft docs website.
Of course, if you would like to have a more detailed discussion about what is new in Business Central or moving to the latest version then please feel free to contact us.
We hope you found this webinar interesting and informative. We shall be sending out emails soon to register for the next one and we shall also put a reminder about the webinar in our newsletter as well.
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